Hozu River Boat Cruise 保津川下り
Take a traditional boat along the Hozu River to Arashiyama, a relaxing way to see this beautiful part of Kyoto.
If you have traveled to Kameoka, west of Kyoto on the Sagano Scenic Railway through the Saga/Arashiyama area, the train journey can be combined with a trip back from Kameoka to the Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama on a river boat.
The hozugawa kudari, the Japanese name for the boat ride on the Hozugawa River lasts about two hours and refreshments (beer, sake, soft drinks, snacks) can be bought on board.
The channel of this river was opened by Suminokura Ryoi 400 years ago during the Edo Period in 1606 to transport wood for Kyoto's many temples, rice and other foodstuffs from Kameoka and further afield to Kyoto. In fact, the river had been used even earlier when the capital was at Nagaoka-kyo.
In 1895, pleasure boats began making the trip and a number of foreign princes and princesses have since taken the cruise along with the Showa Emperor in the 1920's. Today, more than 300,000 tourists travel down the river each year. Each boat seats about 15 people and is equipped with a roof should it rain. Each boat is navigated by two boatmen using oars and long, bamboo poles.
Highlights of the trip are the views of the beautiful, forested river banks of the Hozu Valley, some amazingly shaped rocks and gliding through some small rapids on the river.
The 16 km Hozu River Boat Trip is particularly popular in spring to see the cherry blossoms and in autumn to view Arashiyama's spectacular autumn leaves.
Address, timetable & access
Hozu River Cruise
Shimo-Nakajima, Hozu-cho, Kameoka
Phone+81 (0)771 22 5846
TimetableOn the hour from 9 am to 2 pm and at 3.30 pm. Winter season departures at 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm and 2.30 pm. Departures on weekends and public holidays are irregular, with increased sailings.
Price4,100 JPY Adults / 2,700 yen for 4 year olds to elementary school age
AccessThe nearest station is Kameoka Station, take the Limited Express to Toyooka in Hyogo or a local train on the JR Sagano Line to Sonobe from Kyoto. The boat pier is a quick bus ride (160 yen) or a 10-minute walk from Kameoka Station. Alternatively, from the last stop on the Sagano Scenic Railway, Torokko Kameoka Station.